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Chapter 13. Inside the Spec File

In this chapter, we're going to cover the spec file in detail. There are a number of different types of entries that comprise a spec file, and every one will be documented here. The different types of entries are:

  • Comments — Human-readable notes ignored by RPM.

  • Tags — Define data.

  • Scripts — Contain commands to be executed at specific times.

  • Macros — A method of executing multiple commands easily.

  • The %files list — A list of files to be included in the package.

  • Directives — Used in the %files list to direct RPM to handle certain files in a specific way.

  • Conditionals — Permit operating system- or architecture-specific preprocessing of the spec file.

Let's start by looking at comments.

Comments: Notes Ignored by RPM

Comments are a way to make RPM ignore a line in the spec file. The contents of a comment line are entirely up to the person writing the spec file.

To create a comment, enter an octothorp (#) at the start of the line. Any text following the comment character will be ignored by RPM. Here's an example comment:
# This is the spec file for playmidi 2.3...
Comments can be placed in any section of the spec file.